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Training my Malamute Assistance Service Dogs

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Work with Icy

December 28th 2012 4:09 pm
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This diary will be continued on Icy's page. Thank you all for reading.


I had to put Star down....

December 8th 2012 5:34 am
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Star has to be put down on 06/12/12 because of something that wasted her away within a month. Our vet didn't know the reason but it was clear that it was time. It was so shockingly fast. She was working up until close to the end.

She will always be remembered by me and I hope this Diary has been a help to others.

When it gets warmer outside I will start retraining Icy. I doubt he'll ever be an Assistance Dog again, I am hoping I won't need him, but I want to be able to walk him like a regular pet. I may continue his Diary on his page. I still want to get him and I in as a unit to do Therapy Dog work. I want to be sure his fear of other dogs is under control enough that we can do this.

I am heart broken right now and have no plans at the moment for another dog. Icy seems alright with being alone and we grieve together.


4 hour lunch a cafe with Star working

November 10th 2012 3:29 am
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A 4 hour cafe visit with my two good friends. Star was amazing and we got several surprised comments because people didn't know she was in the room.

It was a wonderful day and good training for my girl! She was definitely ready for it. Ignored all the food yet centered all her attention on me. Hardly any treat rewards.

Star's second car ride and she settled on the floor of the car without a thought for the seats. Now that she knows I'm not going to drop her off and leave her somewhere, she was quite good in the car.

I will see if I can load my new video. Star helps me navigate through lots of tables and chairs to the exit.


Our talk about Working Dogs at my son's primary school

October 25th 2012 9:11 am
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Lone Star was wonderful today working as my Mobility Assistance Dog at my son's primary school. We did a talk about Working Dogs with his class and were invited back for a presentation on Hanukkah to the kids.

She was a champion! She got a "Golden Scroll" for being such a good learner. I'll scan it later. My husband and I got "Golden Scrolls" too for our talk.

She was very smooth in the walk. My husband took some video. Can't wait to play it back. She lay under my legs at the school and allowed strokes when the kids wanted. At one point my son accidently stood on her tail and the teacher looked worried but Star ignored him.

To be fair she was a little worried till we got into the classroom. They had to get the kids ready and I was standing for a few minutes with my legs shaking. My husband went off to find me a chair and Star whined till I was seated.

We went up hill on the way home. I never dared try that with Icy. Star was very smooth and paced herself with me. She noticed things for me and stopped me from walking into a cross walk when a car had not stopped yet.

Very good day. My son's teacher even said she saw a change since the last time she saw Star for the Parent Night. :)

I saw film of someone else's dog they are training and she had this pointer stick that clicks to point to things till the dog knows the name of what she's after. I am going to get one of those. Star is a workaholic and is soaking up everything I can teach her like a sponge. That's why I think adding the Therapy Dog work to this would be good for her. Application about ready to go in the mail.


New assistance from Star

October 19th 2012 5:31 am
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Something decidedly odd. Star has taken it upon herself to wake me in the morning when I am about to burst with holding pee. I know its kinda a gross thing to share but I wear a pad in case of accidental trickles. This last week she'll put her muzzle in my hand and I get up and walk to the toilet just fine. Then she will be happy to lie back down and go to sleep without clamoring to be let out of have food. She's amazing.

We got our application to be a Therapy Dog unit. I'm excited about this and think I can do it along with her other training. I will teach her the command "friend" and she will know she can give attention to someone other than me. :)


I may not have to retire Lone Star

October 14th 2012 7:57 pm
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Star is feeling much better and is back on her food properly. She looks bright enough. I'm hoping it was something she ate that disagreed with her. Either way I plan to work her lightly (as if I ever get out that much) and see how she is.

Even if she turns out to have a problem with fits I am hoping we can work as a Therapy Dog unit. I have asked for an application. She could use some of her training and it would be laid back. Even if I can work her (and I'm starting to feel I can) we might do this on the side.

So I'm starting to hope. We'll see how this week goes.


Another seizure

October 10th 2012 12:28 am
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Star had a fit today on and off for 20 minutes from 8:20am-8:40am. Mild shaking of her head and down her back. Didn't want to run and hide this time. I pet her through it.

So that's it for her Assistance Dog career. I'll keep making my log for the next time we see the vet. But as long as its hot hindering her life, I'll keep her off medication as long as possible. My Epileptic girl Ookie didn't last 6 months on the meds. It is hard on the body.

So that's it for her Assistance Dog training. I'm much better in my body now and I still look forward to taking her for regular walks, I just won't be able to take her into buildings. It's a blow but her health is my main concern.

So this might be the last entry in this diary. I may add tid bits from other things I might train both dogs to do.

Thank you for reading.


Panic Attack

October 7th 2012 8:30 am
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Of all the things I nearly had a panic attack two nights ago while playing with Jason. He was screaming and giggling and then he had me down and I had a PTSD moment. Very bad as I had been mock calling for help before, Dave didn't come as he thought it was part of the game. The two dogs are used to these games by now and were calm but when I started really panicking one of them came and touched my foot, I think it was Star (that's part of her job). When I got up Icy was there and I gave him hugs. I tried to laugh it off with my son but it scared me real bad. I've never had anything like that happen before.


vet visit

October 4th 2012 10:36 am
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Just got back from the vet. My dog Star is fine. She's not eating like I expected because its a breed thing. She's not happy with the hard food so he says soft is more natural. She chews bones so he wasn't worried. As for the fit she had, he says some dogs have them. The medication (as I have experience) can be harder on the dogs body than the occasional fit. As long as it doesn't stop them enjoying life. For now I am to keep a log of when I see it happening so they know how frequently it happens.

She was fantastic in her capacity as a Mobility Assistance Dog in Training. I wish I had film of her. She was so relaxed and on the job. I broke one of their chairs and she stood and supported me till help could arrive. She didn't solicit attention even from the vet. There were lots of excited dogs and one that growled at her. She just ignored them. She also paused before a step down in the office on a few occasions to show me it was there. She was very alert looking for cars too. I'm really proud of her.

The vet gave her vitamins and we're going back next Thursday for some jags. Got the PDSA form and I filled it out. Maybe tomorrow we can drop it in.

As this might be a one time only fit the vet said she was still able to work with me. :)


Lone Star at my son's school today

September 19th 2012 11:10 am
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I took Lone Star down to my son's primary school today for the first time this term. It was her first time. We were to meet with his teacher after all the kids had gone.

She was spot on in everything despite walking a new path and having family with us. We saw dogs, kids in buggies, strollers, toddlers, older kids, teens, bikes, scooters, cars and many more things.

She lay quiet during the meeting and we spent some time at the playground afterwards. Star showed a side I didn't expect in her as she was worried about my son if he got to far ahead of us adults. She was great in the playground with all the kids running around. Since I was safe on a bench she spent the time watching my son.

On the way home I was tired and needed frequent rests. She was understanding. She learned my "stand" command (which means to stand and let me use the dog as a balance to get up). She also finally "released" peed. I'm sure she'll know the command now that she did it and I told her what it was.

She was very watchful of everything and even kept trying to veer me to one side of the side walk. When my husband mentioned it I told him I thought it was because she wanted to smell the fence. He told me that actually I was placing my crutch to close to the curb and he was sure I would eventually end up in the gutter. After that I trusted her judgement and we were fine.

My son's teacher has invited us to come in and talk about working dogs to the class. I'm in a lot of pain but it was worth it.

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